Dear Two Views,

My mom and her husband (of 4-years) have a chocolate Lab that they think is their child. I am not a dog lover but I understand that many people do view their dog as a family member. Whenever they have come to visit me (which is about 4 times a year) they have always brought their dog without asking. My husband (boyfriend at the time) and I never said anything because we didn't want to cause tension. My moms husband flies off the handle very easily. He is good hearted, likes us a lot, and does a lot for us - But no one better ever disagree with him! He's a little hot-head! But not violent. We can see the stress my mom has in trying to make everyone like him. For her sake we all walk on eggshells so that we don't upset him - in turn upsetting her. Recently my husband and I bought a house. The carpeting in the house was ruined from dog urine. We tore it all out and are waiting for the new carpeting. The whole house - about $3,000. My mom and her husband came down one weekend to help us do some painting and repairs to the house. Prior to the visit I told my mom I didn't want the dog in the house. He sheds a lot. She could not understand my point of view at all. I agreed not to say anything yet - but explained that I would have to say something before the arrival of the new carpet. She seemed very worried. They came, they helped, nothing was said, the dog was through the whole house. They were planning to come again this weekend to help some more. I once again explained to my mother that I HAD to say something because I feel that strongly about it. She said to do what I had to do - but leave her completely out of it. So I called her husband and told him how I was feeling. I was crying and it was clear to him that I was having a hard time telling him how I felt. I told him the dog was still welcome but I wanted to keep him in the laundry room or on the front porch. He said "no problem, we'll keep him where you don't have to worry about it" I was relieved. Until later that night when my mom called and said he wasn't speaking to her. He told her to call and ask me why! All she could do is remind me about all the things they've done for me. I know they've done a lot. But does that mean they don't have to respect my home? I hate to hurt my mother - but it doesn't seem fair that I have to give in on something my husband and I have discussed and both feel strongly about! I feel horrible. I hate conflict. Can you help.

Feeling guilty but not sure why.

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